Orange Bomb: Richard Townsend’s Triumph Bobber

Photography: Luke Ray.

My interest in Triumphs was started after finding pictures of my dad and his pre-unit Triumph that he owned back in the ‘50s.

I bought this bike in 2007 after mentioning to my brother that I was looking for a Triumph to cut up. A week later he called to say he found an old 80s chopper sitting in a shed 10 minutes from where I live with a seized motor. Two grand changed hands and it was mine.

Damn, it was ugly. I parted with everything but the front frame loop, 16 inch back wheel and the seized motor with a bonus Hunt magneto hanging off the side. I sold the  Sonic Springer front end to my friend Timo, which he subsequently cut 12 inches out of and fitted  to his BSA bobber project.

The tank came from a mint Daytona 500 which I found in an antique shop. The rear guard is a spare wheel cover and came from Pirate Pete’s treasure trove of parts in Adelaide. On top of that sits the rear tail light that was pried from the wall of ‘Moon Dog’ Ray’s shed wall and was originally a sidecar mudguard light. The original Triumph frame hoop was used with a slightly raked head set.  

Front end is an original Triumph with NOS front fork covers, and the front wheel is an early Sportster 21 inch with a 71 air scoop front hub and was sourced from Brit Bikes. The bars are original NOS Stelling and Helling, made in Burbank California flat track style. The front pipes came with the bike as well as the NOS cocktail shaker mufflers with no baffles.

Dave from Leading Motorcycles was a big help in piecing the bike together, he bent up the hard tail and rebuilt the 650 Bonneville engine with 750 Morgo big bore kit, 750 cams and new 30mm Amal carbs.

The orange paint is ‘DNA Gold Flake’ over silver with a healthy layer of Candy Orange, combined with tangerine metallic on the frame. All paint was done by Daniel Stone. It looked like a glow mesh handbag before we put the Candy on it!  The bike is an absolute hoot to ride .

This article first appeared in Fuel Magazine issue 10.